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The Stonewall Inn is on the path to city landmark status

The Stonewall Inn
Photograph: Grace Chu The Stonewall Inn

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously today to consider the Stonewall Inn a city landmark. This morning's vote is largely considered a formality, and the official designation will happen after a public hearing on June 23.

How is that just happening now?!?, you may be wondering. Well, the LPC has generally been more concerned with architectural rather than cultural significance. And besides, the Stonewall (housed in a pair of former carriage houses) wasn't really in danger of getting knocked down to build a Uniqlo any time soon—it's already part of the Greenwich Village Historic District (and has been since 1966), and it's on the National Register of Historic Places for its role in the gay-rights movement. Still, since the Stonewall's facade is pretty much identical to what it was during the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the LPC has decided it's worthy of this additional honor. That means the exterior of the building cannot be changed, though the interior (which has been altered several times—half of it is now a nail salon) will not be landmarked.

Neighborhood activists still want to see Julius, the LGBT Center and 99 Wooster St (the site of the city's first gay community center) granted city landmark status for their roles in the LGBT rights movement. But for now, the special honor for Stonewall is cause for celebration—just in time for New York City Pride.

UPDATE: As expected, the city's landmarks preservation commission voted unanimously today to designated Stonewall Inn a landmark. Any changes to the historic facade of the bar will now require permission from the city.

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